48,000 University of California graduate student workers to strike

About 48,000 unionized academic workers at the 10 campuses of the University of California – who conduct the bulk of the teaching and research at the state’s leading higher education system – are expected to quit their jobs Monday morning demanding better pay and benefits.

The system-wide strike includes teaching assistants, postdocs, graduate students, tutors, fellows and others, and is expected to cause significant disruption to classes and daily campus life.

Union leaders say the strike, which is due to start at 10 a.m., will be the largest of any academic institution in history.

“We negotiated all weekend and while important progress has been made, we still remain far apart on many issues that will make UC a fairer university,” said Rafael Jaime, president of the UAW 2865, the 19,000 of the 48,000 represents workers, said in a statement Monday.

A group of 33 state lawmakers sent a letter in support of graduate student workers, urging UC President Michael Drake to negotiate with the workers in good faith.

“UC is one of the best public university systems and research institutions in the world, not least because of its ability to attract the most talented scholars from a wide range of backgrounds,” the letter reads. “But the UC system cannot live up to its mission and reputation if its own employees don’t feel respected.”

The unionized workers are demanding significant wage increases as many struggle to afford housing close to their campus, as well as subsidies for childcare, improved health care for dependents, public transport tickets, lower tuition for international scientists and better education Accessibility for workers with disabilities.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-11-14/university-of-california-strike-academic-workers-graduate-students 48,000 University of California graduate student workers to strike

Alley Einstein

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